Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

user generated contentOne of my favorite things to see in a video game is user-generated content. That is, as long as it makes sense within the context of the game, of course. Allowing users to create and manipulate the game world opens up an endless world of possibilities. Admittedly, some of the created content will not be as good as what the developers put in the game, but sometimes users blow me away with their attention to detail and quality of design and mechanics.

Some games have done a less than stellar job of implementing user-generated content, and it ends up feeling like a throw-in afterthought. However, when a game gets it right and truly knocks it out of the park, it can be something special to behold. It can take a game that you might play for a few hours and extend it to something you can enjoy for years to come. The games on this list are examples of user-generated content done right, and I hope many more games follow along with them.

LittleBigPlanet

user generated content

LittleBigPlanet is a simple platformer. You play as a little Sack Boy and jump around and do generic platforming things. If that was all the game consisted of, the game would have come out and been forgotten within months. People stood up and took notice because of the incredible creation tools implemented into the game. The tools were deep in their functionality, and simple in their execution. LittleBigPlanet is truly a testament to what a dedicated community of users can do when given the right tools.

ModNation Racers

user generated

ModNation Racers is quite similar to LittleBigPlanet, but with cart racing. Users can create their own carts, tracks and everything else with an incredibly intuitive interface that allows players to make complicated items with no technical skill required. Users simply need a little creativity, and the amazing tools do the rest.

Ads by Google

Starcraft and Starcraft 2

user generated

Starcraft’s creation tools are more complicated than LittleBigPlanet or ModNation Racers, but the level of depth they offer is off the charts. Players have the ability to create almost anything their heart desires. Starcraft is obviously an RTS, but with the tools available, users were able to generate RPGs, tower defense games and more. Just remember you will not be booting up the Starcraft editor and creating anything good right away, you will have to learn the tools and put forth a little effort.

Minecraft

user generated

Minecraft is literally built around users generating content. What started as a small indie project exploded into a cultural phenomenon. It’s like the video game version of Legos. I will readily admit that Minecraft is not for me, and other than briefly checking it out, I have no interest in playing it. That being said, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge its greatness for user-generated content.

Spore

user generated games

Spore graced this list because of its amazing creature creator. Users could build any kind of creature their heart desired. The game’s creation tools were so well implemented that they actually released a stand-alone product before the launch of the game, just to let users play around with the amazing tools. They maintain a level of depth that gives users a ton of options, while keeping a level of simplicity that a child can understand. If you love creating stuff, you should take a look at Spore.

Garry’s Mod

user generated content

Garry’s Mod makes full use of the Source engine’s capabilities and gives users the tools to create, well, anything. If you can think it, you can probably build it in Garry’s Mod. It is not necessarily easy to use, but it’s not built to be. It’s designed for people who want to take creating to another level, and it does it amazingly well.

Conclusion

For all you creative types, these are the games for you. If you love having a blank canvas and seeing your ideas come to life, these video games will bring a smile to your face. These developers figured out how to implement user-generated content the right way, and I love them for it.

What games do you think got user-generated content right? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Outcast
    January 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    The thing which is noticeable with Little big planet Karting is that the best levels for this game have NOT come from the development team themselves but from the user community.Indeed as creation tools become more sophisticated and user friendly i expect the user community to be making much more powerful experiences than the game industry itself.
    For anyone who wants to check the best for Little big planet karting try out "Power plant pond" by Farmer_Freakeasy or check out his hearted creations.

  2. Mila Kun
    October 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Interesting. I hardly play anything, but I'm going to try some of these for a change :) Thanks for the article!

  3. René Flohil
    September 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I just love how a lot of indie game creators and even a lot of big gaming companies open up their games to User Generated Content. Even Valve with adding the workshop to Steam. I love this era of gaming.

  4. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    September 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    On the Youtube channel RoosterTeeth, some comments argue about Trials being the LittleBigPlanet of the Xbox360(since LBP isn't on the Xbox360). The channel has shown various vids of user-made content, which wouldn't be surprising, until you include the fact that it's originally a motorbike game.

  5. Dave Parrack
    August 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I loved LittleBigPlanet, and all because of the UGC. I might dust it off and see if anyone has created some gems in the past few months.

  6. Keith Ambrose
    August 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    You can also mention all of the third-party (some user-generated) programs that make edited in minecraft easier.

  7. Chris
    August 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    The last 3 Elder Scrolls.

  8. marshel
    August 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Neverwinter Nights 1 got it right. There are thousands of user generated content. There is still a big community today on nwvault at ign.com and the game is still on sale at gog.

  9. Patrick Barden
    August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

    For some time now I have become a huge fan of the indie game Dungeons of Dredmor. And when I found out that it has a whole workshop community on Steam I fell in love. I've tried dozens of fan made mods and have even helped with a couple. Just tonight I began working on my first mod. The nice part is the mods can be as small or large as you please. some are just a new weapon or item, some add monsters and new rooms. Some add it all and give you new monsters, items spells, skills, rooms and even more. If you can think of it, you can make it and let the world play with it.

  10. Daniel
    August 29, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Well, the test creator of portal 2 is awesome, i love making test chambers in it.
    Oh and the scene in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (for wii) it's beautyfull, music, textures, models, attacks, you can change everything.

    • Dave LeClair
      August 31, 2012 at 3:23 am

      Good recommendations!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *